While it’s fun to compare the attempts at cloud computing dominance between Google and Microsoft as a “war” or “clash of the technology titans,” these terms are simply not accurate. It’s a slaughter; one where Google is gaily prancing over the bloody, body strewn battlefield of Microsoft casualties. Although Microsoft has just announced their suit of fully online services known as Office 365, it’s not even fair to consider Microsoft a contender in the same ring as Google, at least, not where the cloud is concerned.
Cloud computing is simply the availability of services over the Internet rather than software installed on each personal computer. It allows for easy access to said software/services anywhere there is an Internet connection, and it is often times free of charge (Laudon, 289). The article Google Versus Microsoft: Clash of the Technology Titans pits the two companies against each other in an monumental struggle for the title of Supreme Czar of the Cloud. However, this is turning into a reenactment of the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon presidential debate, where Google is much more charismatic than Microsoft.
Although the article makes the issue out to be a gargantuan battle for Internet supremacy between two bitter enemies, even going as far as to state that “the competition between the companies promises to be fierce,” (Laudon, 289) the truth is rather one sided. Google’s stance is that of cooperation, claiming that their services will “be used in tandem with Microsoft’s applications.” (Laudon, 289) The age old question of “why can’t we all just get along” comes to mind. Google seems capable, is Microsoft? Apparently not.
Where Google’s business model seems to be based on expansion and growth, tapping into new markets across the globe, Microsoft sticks to its antique guns, at the expense of sounding like a bitter old man not willing to change. Microsoft claims that its products are the results of countless dollars being thrown into years of research and development for a product that consumers are satisfied with and ultimately used to (Laudon 290). Microsoft’s business strategy seems strangely akin to the old adage of “ain’t broke, don’t fix.” However, no change leads to no innovation. Microsoft claims its goal is to “embrace the Internet while persuading consumers to retain the desktop as the focal point for computing tasks (Laudon, 289).” It sounds to me like they simply want to talk about the Internet and continue to do the same old thing.
As Frank Herbert once said “He who controls the spice, controls the universe,” and Google controls the spice, or rather the Internet. I think it’s safe to say that the Internet is the future, and has been since the 80s. Microsoft seems reluctant to give up what they know. I fear that this will come with a high price for Microsoft. The cloud is here, hovering above us all, raining down its great services for all willing to simply get online. Until Microsoft can get past its own past, I don’t think they can be seriously considered as contenders for the cloud computing super heavyweight championship.
A special thanks to @lomereed for contributing this post. If you have any questions or comments post ‘em below or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.